Monday, April 22, 2013

We will remember them ...

Today, more than ever, we need to honour all those who defend our country: all those, whether fallen, fighting or free.
ON the eve of ANZAC DAY, this Wednesday evening, Queensland Symphony Orchestra together with RSL Queensland, will stage a pretty special concert – a powerful tribute which will sound out across the city, reminding everyone that Thursday is a day to remember.
The Queensland Symphony Orchestra and RSL (Queensland Branch) are presenting an 
ANZAC EVE CONCERT featuring conductor Benjamin Northey, Anne Wood (soprano) and Kang Wang (tenor) at 
6.30pm, Wednesday 24 April
at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
This is a FREE EVENT: To register your ticket please visit
The Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) and RSL (Queensland Branch) unite again to present the free community ANZAC Eve Concert at 6.30pm on Wednesday 24 April in the Great Hall of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This concert acts as a tribute to honour the veterans and serving men and women, remembering those lost in past and present wars. 
This year the concert will be directed by highly renowned Australian conductor, Benjamin Northey.
Mr Northey explains what ANZAC Day means to him: 
“It represents the sacrifices made by our ancestors to help give us the freedom we have today,” he says. “It also embodies our character; tough, loyal and we look after our mates. The spirit of ANZAC is at the core of our national identity. The concert is a wonderful way to celebrate what that means to us all."  
RSL (Queensland Branch) CEO Chris McHugh says the concert was a fitting tribute to those who have fought for our freedom.
“It’s a very appropriate way to spend the evening before one of our most important national days,” Mr McHugh says. “RSL (Queensland Branch) is very proud to support this opportunity for the community to come together and honour Australian service men and women while enjoying a wonderful night of fine entertainment."
The Orchestra will also perform with musical theatre sensation Anne Wood, tenor soloist Kang Wang, the Queensland Choir directed by Kevin Power and the Brisbane Concert Choir directed by Debra Shearer-Dirie.
Music featured includes Australian classics and a range of orchestral pieces and performances by Queensland Police Pipes and Drums and the Australian Army Band Brisbane.
Join the QSO and RSL (Queensland Branch) for this special community concert and support those who have risked their lives for Australia.

The ANZAC Eve Concert will feature music from;
TRAD. Advanced Australia Fair
WALTON Spitfire Prelude
MCDONALD Arr. BUTTON With Honour We Serve
TRAD. Abide With Me
RITCHIE Gallipoli Voices
BARBER Adagio for Strings
RODGERS Victory at Sea
TRAD. Eternal Father Strong to Save
RODGERS Carousel, You’ll Never Walk Alone
SIBELIUS Evening Hymn and Last Post

Note: I know this post is a little different to my normal kind of post, but I think Anzac Day is worth it, don't you? More than ever ...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Not quite Hollywood

It was the only one of the Gold Coast's theme parks I'd not been to with the kids before, and with our trusty VIP passes burning holes in my wallet, what better time than the school holidays to try out Movie World?
The kids had been with their Dad a few years before, and were keen to see what had changed since then. I was keen to see what had developed since I'd last attended a movie screening when Chase was a babe in arms.
Maybe we were there on a bad day, but it turned out not a lot.
All the old fave rides were there - Wild West Falls Adventure Ride, Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster,  and the attractions of the Kids WB! Kids Fun Zone. The kids zone was a bit young for my two, but great for littler ones.
And the more adventurous rides were fabulous. Just a bit too adult for Mr 12 and Miss 10. Your kids of that age may be different. Teens and young adults were having a ball on rides like Justice League 3D, the Green Lantern Coaster and the Batwing Spaceshot.
My son would have gone on, but he didn't want to risk: 'Being spewed on by a random stranger'.
It would be okay if he were spewed on me apparently, because that would be his mother's spew, and that was ruled acceptable. (I'm honoured...)
But I couldn't go on the ride with him, because that would mean leaving Miss 10 alone.
Which was unthinkable.
Such is the reality of single parenting at theme parks.
And so we compromised once again, which meant Mr 12 missed out.
(It's always good to try to attend with other families if you can, or coax a spare adult into coming with you. Not always possible. Or affordable, if you're the one springing for the extra ticket.)
I was disconcerted by the trend for $20 photos with the characters. Yes, you could still get photos for free luckily, but the popular characters like Bugs Bunny and the Scooby Doo characters seemed scarcer than usual. Call my cynical, but I wondered if they were busier with their new $20 schedule? Less popular characters (to us) like a powdery Edward Scissorhands and sweet Alice In Wonderland ('she looks older than I remember her' remarked an unimpressed Mr 12), were still available though.
The stunt show was good fun, and Ice Age 4 was worth a look too.
Food and drink prices were, as usual, high. $6 each for dagwood dogs, $10 for pita bread wraps, and you're not supposed to bring any of your own food or drink in except for water. (People with allergies are exempt from this rule).
The kids loved the Ekka-style concession stands, which cost extra. My son's interest was piqued at a concession stand's holder's squid hat, which the hat holder first told him he could 'probably win' later. So we stayed on and played a few more games until until I enquired again. This time, the attendant checked with his supervisor and said there wasn't in fact, enough stock of the hat for it to be won.
We left after that.
Luckily, our passes were valid for Wet 'n' Wild, which was just down the road.
We've been there several times and I keep togs and towels in the car for just such an occasion. (What Queensland mother doesn't?)
And so the day was not a total loss, even though it pissed down raining and we all got soaked.
And no squid hats were won by anyone.

Excited for a big day out!

Look, it's Batman!
Time for a break!
Wet 'n' Wild - that's more like it!
Slippery fun!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A dreamy giveaway

One of the best things about school holidays is sleeping in!
The mornings are getting a little cooler now, and it's been lovely to snuggle under the covers a bit longer and put off getting out of bed for as long as possible.
No rushed breakfasts, no lunches to make and no dashing out the door to school - bliss.
We've enjoyed a few visits with friends and family too and it's been great not to have to enforce bedtime now the kids are getting older.
Another dreamy benefit of school holidays is yummy food. Harmonie enjoyed a morning cooking with a favourite auntie, while Chase and I caught up on some shopping the other day - he's grown out of everything again! Aqua easter egg cupcakes and pink lamingtons were the result - delicious.
We've also been enjoying some of Cloud 9's scrumptious frozen yoghurts. Lighter in taste and fat than ice-cream, they are deliciously yummy without the guilt factor.
We used the Strawberry Dreams flavour (strawberry chunks and biscuit swirled through strawberry yoghurt) to make yummy iced-yoghurt sandwiches. (Sorry, no photo, they were eaten too quickly).
Then Chase whipped up some lemon merinque smash with the Limoncello frozen yoghurt (limoncello and lemon curd swirled through frozen yoghurt). It was nice and easy, and delicious too. And we decided at the last minute that it was too pretty to smash up, so we served it like this:

Lemon merinque pie with limoncello frozen yoghurt, pre-smashing, with lemon zest on top

Sharing the school holiday joy, the nice people at Cloud 9 have given MIA 5 x $20 Coles vouchers to giveaway, so that readers can try the fabulous frozen yoghurts themselves.

To win one of the five $20 vouchers, simply leave a comment below saying which flavour you would like to try. You'll get an extra entry if you leave a comment on my Facebook page.

Entries close on Monday April 15, at 9 am AEST.

The competition has closed. The winners are: Char, Mary Preston, Trish Drumboys, Jody Jamieson and Elise Ellabban. Please send me your snail mail addys so I can send your gift cards. 

Disclosure: Maid In Australia was gifted one $20 Coles gift voucher to try the Cloud 9 frozen yoghurt at home.